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Children's Health

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Health and Safety, Ages 2 to 5 Years - Safety Measures Outside the Home

Choosing child care

Before enrolling your child in day care, evaluate the environment and talk with the care providers. Ask questions about their safety guidelines. Identify any hazards, and ask how they are handled. For more information, see the topic Choosing Child Care.

Going along for the ride: Exercising caution

Many parents and caregivers want to share their favorite activities with their young children. This can help build common interests and appreciation for exercise and other pursuits. Be sure, though, to recognize the safety issues related to these activities. Remember that your child's comfort and safety are most important.

  • Always use a car seat and have your child ride in the backseat of your car. Car accidents are the leading cause of death and injury in young children. Follow basic guidelines established by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). See the AAP website at
  • Never leave your child alone in a car. Heat inside the car and other factors could cause long-lasting injury-or death-in a matter of minutes. Keeping the car windows down won't protect your child in hot or warm weather. Other injuries could also occur from a child getting stuck in the trunk or setting the car in motion.
  • Keep your child safe in strollers and carts. Use the safety straps, and follow the printed instructions. It's safest not to put children in shopping carts at all.
  • Use extra caution when riding bikes and tricycles. Make sure that you and your child always wear helmets and practice safe riding habits, such as avoiding busy streets. Bike only during daylight hours.
  • If your child rides a scooter, watch him or her at all times. Don't let your child ride near traffic. And have your child wear a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. Wait until your child is a little older before you teach skateboard safety. It's not safe for children younger than 5 to use skateboards.
  • Monitor air pollution before outdoor activities. Children's lungs are especially sensitive to pollution. You can check your newspaper or local weather station for details about air pollution levels.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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